4-29-18 Appreciation


The recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.

A full understanding of a situation, (be it pleasant or unpleasant).

Antonyms: criticism, decrease, disregard, loss, negativity.                     

Is what we give our attention to enriching our lives or is it enslaving us? Is my attention focused on comparing, judging, demeaning, or base in fear? These all diminish us and keep us in chains. 

Appreciation is an enjoyment and recognition of something, NOT the grasping of, or identifying a thing, or a position, or an emotion, as who we are. We are much more than any thing or position, be it an elevated position in society, or if you feel you are in a lower social status. Feeling better or less than others involves comparing. When you compare yourself to others you lose any sense of your true worth. So many spiritual and great people had no high social status, and the few that did used their position only to help others.

The Buddha discussed at least four things we can feel admiration and appreciation towards:     (1) the good within ourselves, (2) the good within others, (3) the blessings of being born human and (4) the many advantages and opportunities we enjoy. It is very useful to start the day by meditating, and also contemplating the four suggestions.

I can appreciate doing a thing well, just as I can appreciate fowling up, because I now have the opportunity to learn and grow. I just need to get the stupidity of the ego out of the way. I do need to honestly look at and work with the things in my life that hold me back or gives me a negative outlook. But in rejoicing my positive qualities, many of my negativities just naturally fall away. Darkness is transformed into light when the sun comes up.

It may seem a bit crazy that we should appreciate difficult times in our lives.

Most of us have had or will have, very difficult things occur. I may need to only accept what difficulties have happen to myself or to those I care about. But from acceptance comes an appreciation of my growth and that I was able to be was present for these times, doing all that I could to help. My difficulties, when well met, are the foundation I continue to grow with.

There can be a downside to appreciation if we start grasping at that which we are appreciating. This is something we all have done. You may observe yourself appreciating something, then a desire to own it, to take it, (to control it, be it an object or a person). Now, we have another 

opportunity to let go of our thoughts and desires. Experienced meditators can spot the mind spinning the story and apply an antidote of simple appreciation of the awareness for our need to   control. We get tired of being negative and whiney, and we do have a wonderful replacement.

I am often reminded in a meeting when someone else shares, how difficult I once made my life, and how much I was hurting others.I then have a huge appreciation for where I am now, and how far I have come. I also feel a great wonderment for what will come. I know that there will be joyous times and difficult times, but I do not fear or grasp at either. I know I can be present for both, not in a fog of escapism or wallowing in self pity. I still have times of wallowing and fog, but they are momentary and I am able to let them go and engage and appreciate in my life much more fully. Appreciate many small things all day long. That is where we grow into a fullness and feel worthwhile and whole.

The Medical credo starts — First Do No Harm. I am dedicated to NOT harming myself. I do not judge myself harshly, elevate or demean myself.

If I do, if that is my mind-set, then I have no choice but to bring suffering to myself and harm to others. I will appreciate my unique abilities and capacities, while knowing I am connected to all others. I have the responsibility to myself and to others to appreciate our differences, and our  innate connection, and to foster kindness, always.

I do have to STOP when agitated, and consciously choose kindness instead, it take an effort.

Today I can choose to appreciate myself, my precious life and the capacity I have been given to live with a sense of contentment and to be of help to others. Or I can choose to feel sorry for myself and find fault everywhere. Both are choices I can and do make. I am responsible.

Be aware of your speech, is it littered with negative judgements? Can you replace that with speaking of positive qualities of yourself and others? What happens when you do?                                   

We all have an innate goodness within us and all wish to be happy. How can I appreciate this truth and work in bringing more peace to myself, others, and the world?

I can start simply, perhaps when I wake up I can sit with a sense of gratitude and curiosity of what will this day bring? I can go to the store or to work, and replace every judgement, with a feeling of appreciation for something I see. My choice.                                                                

At night we can bring to mind one or two things we have appreciated this day and are grateful for, and let that be the manner in which we fall asleep and rest.

These thoughts and ideas about appreciation are just that right now, thoughts and ideas. If you do see some benefit in any of this, or in any thoughts and ideas you feel are more helpful in your life, will you actually make an effort to utilize a new way of growing and being, or just let good thoughts and ideas remain thoughts and ideas, so you can talk about them and sound wise?

It is hard to change, even when you know the change is good. But can you think of anything more difficult than when you were living in your addiction. Let that be a reminder that by continuing to move forward, we are insured of never going back there.

A beautiful garden is a wonderful thing to appreciate. The garden did not appear because someone sat in the shade and wished for it, while cursing the weeds. Do the work and the benefits will follow.             

      How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com